Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) is the application of a transient and brief ischemic stimulus to a distant site from the organ or tissue that is afterward exposed to injury ischemia, and has been found to reduce ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI) in various animal models. RIPC appears to offer two distinct phases of endothelial IRI protection, which are presumably mediated through neuronal and humoral pathways.
We conducted a comprehensive literature review on the available published data about the potential effect of RIPC in patients undergoing IRI in one or more vital organs.
Our search highlighted 24 randomized clinical trials about the effect of RIPC on variable clinical settings (abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, open heart surgery, percutaneous coronary intervention, living donor renal transplantation, coronary angiography, elective decompression surgery, carotid endarterectomy, recent stroke, or transient ischemic attack combined with intracranial carotid artery stenosis). Most of the trials focused on postoperative cardiac or renal function after RIPC with conflicting results. Preconditioning protocols, age limits, comorbidities, and concomitant drug use varied significantly across trials, and therefore no firm conclusions can be drawn using the available data. However, no severe local adverse events were observed in any patient undergoing limb or arm preconditioning.
RIPC is a safe and well-tolerated procedure that may constitute a potentially promising innovative treatment in atherosclerotic diseases. Large, multicenter, randomized clinical trials are required to determine an optimal protocol for the RIPC procedure, and to evaluate further the potential benefits of RIPC in human ischemic injury.
Aortic aneurysm; atherosclerosis; coronary artery disease; ischemic stroke; peripheral arterial disease; remote ischemic preconditioning
Recent evidence indicates that hypothalamic neurons acquire or lose the capacity to synthesize and release dopamine (DA) in response to environmental stimuli, and this has functional and behavioral consequences for adult rats. We have evidence that neuronal activity, including that driven by afferent input, regulates acquisition and loss of the DA phenotype by substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) neurons in adult mice.
Hypotheses The aims of the present study were to determine whether the environment or behavior regulates the number of SNc DA neurons in adult mice, and whether this is mediated by afferent input.
Adult mice were subject to two different environments/behaviors: “mating” for 1 week or “environment enrichment” (EE) for 2 weeks; then the numbers of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate limiting enzyme in DA synthesis) immunopositive (TH+) and immunonegative (TH−) SNc neurons were counted.
More TH+ neurons were present in mated males whereas less TH+ neurons were present in mated females. Also, more TH+ neurons were present in EE males, and this increase was completely abolished by concurrent local infusion of GABAA receptor antagonists.
The number of DA neurons in the adult SNc is not fixed, but readily increases and decreases in response to environmental stimuli and/or behaviors. These changes are mediated by afferent input relaying information about the environment or behavior to SNc neurons.
Dopamine; midbrain; plasticity
It is well established that aging and vascular processes interact to disrupt cerebral hemodynamics in older adults. However, the independent effects of cerebral perfusion on neurocognitive function among older adults remain poorly understood. We examined the associations among cerebral perfusion, cognitive function, and brain structure in older adults with varying degrees of vascular disease using perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) arterial spin labeling (ASL).
Materials and methods
52 older adults underwent neuroimaging and were administered the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), and measures of attention/executive function. ASL and T1-weighted MRI were used to quantify total brain perfusion, total brain volume (TBV), and cortical thickness.
Regression analyses showed reduced total brain perfusion was associated with poorer performance on the MMSE, RBANS total index, immediate and delayed memory composites, and Trail Making Test B. Reduced frontal lobe perfusion was associated with worse executive and memory function. A similar pattern emerged between temporal lobe perfusion and immediate memory. Regression analyses revealed that decreased total brain perfusion was associated with smaller TBV and mean cortical thickness. Regional effects of reduced total cerebral perfusion were found on temporal and parietal lobe volumes and frontal and temporal cortical thickness.
Reduced cerebral perfusion is independently associated with poorer cognition, smaller TBV, and reduced cortical thickness in older adults.
Prospective studies are needed to clarify patterns of cognitive decline and brain atrophy associated with cerebral hypoperfusion.
Arterial spin labeling; cardiovascular disease; cerebral blood flow; cerebrovascular disease; cognitive function; magnetic resonance imaging; neuroimaging
When studying brain function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data containing tens of thousands of voxels, a coarse-grained approach – dividing the whole brain into regions of interest – is applied frequently to investigate the organization of the functional network on a relatively coarse scale. However, a coarse-grained scheme may average out the fine details over small spatial scales, thus rendering it difficult to identify the exact locations of functional abnormalities.
A novel and general approach to reverse the coarse-grained approach by locating the exact sources of the functional abnormalities is proposed.
Thirty-nine patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 37 matched healthy controls are studied. A circuit comprising the left superior frontal gyrus (SFGdor), right insula (INS), and right putamen (PUT) exhibit the greatest changes between the patients with MDD and controls. A reversal coarse-grained analysis is applied to this circuit to determine the exact location of functional abnormalities.
The voxel-wise time series extracted from the reversal coarse-grained analysis (source) had several advantages over the original coarse-grained approach: (1) presence of a larger and detectable amplitude of fluctuations, which indicates that neuronal activities in the source are more synchronized; (2) identification of more significant differences between patients and controls in terms of the functional connectivity associated with the sources; and (3) marked improvement in performing discrimination tasks. A software package for pattern classification between controls and patients is available in Supporting Information.
Reversal coarse-grained analysis; source location; voxel-wise time series
The levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in ischemic stroke have not been studied extensively and reported results are inconsistent. We aimed to investigate the time course, the prognostic relevance, and the variables associated with EPC counts in patients with ischemic stroke at different time points.
Material and methods
We studied prospectively 146 consecutive patients with ischemic stroke within the first 48 h from the onset of symptoms (baseline). We evaluated demographic data, classical vascular risk factors, treatment with thrombolysis and statins, stroke etiology, National Institute of Health and Stroke Scale score and outcome (favorable when Rankin scale score 0–2). Blood samples were collected at baseline, at day 7 after stroke (n = 121) and at 3 months (n = 92). The EPC were measured by flow cytometry.
We included 146 patients with a mean age of 70.8 ± 12.2 years. The circulating EPC levels were higher on day 7 than at baseline or at 3 months (P = 0.045). Pretreatment with statins (odds ratio [OR] 3.11, P = 0.008) and stroke etiology (P = 0.032) were predictive of EPC counts in the baseline sample. EPC counts were not associated with stroke severity or functional outcome in all the patients. However, using multivariate analyses, a better functional outcome was found in patients with higher EPC counts in large-artery atherosclerosis and small-vessel disease etiologic subtypes.
After acute ischemic stroke, circulating EPC counts peaked at day 7. Pretreatment with statins increased the levels of EPC. In patients with large-artery atherosclerosis and small-vessel disease subtypes, higher counts were related to better outcome at 3 months.
Endothelial progenitor cells; ischemic stroke; statin
We have previously identified a subset of diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSP) patients with probable demyelination related to poor glycemic control. We aimed to determine whether the clinical characteristics and electrodiagnostic classification of nerve injury in diabetes patients with “demyelinating” DSP (D-DSP) differed from those diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) (CIDP + diabetes mellitus [DM]).
D-DSP (56) and CIDP + DM (67) subjects underwent clinical examination and nerve conduction studies (NCS), and were compared using analysis of variance, contingency tables, and Kruskal–Wallis analyses.
Of the 123 subjects with a mean age of 60.5 ± 15.6 years and mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) of 8.2 ± 2.2%, 54% had CIDP + DM and 46% had D-DSP. CIDP + DM subjects were older (P = 0.0003), had shorter duration of diabetes (P = 0.005), and more severe neuropathy as indicated by Toronto Clinical Neuropathy Score (TCNS) (P = 0.003), deep tendon reflexes (P = 0.02), and vibration perception thresholds (VPT) (P = 0.01, P = 0.02). The mean HbA1c value for D-DSP subjects (8.9 ± 2.3%) was higher than in CIDP + DM subjects (7.7 ± 2.0%, P = 0.02).
The clinical phenotype and electrophysiological profile of CIDP + DM patients is marked by more severe neuropathy and better glycemic control than in patients with D-DSP. These findings indicate that these two conditions – despite similarities in their electrophysiological pattern of demyelination – likely differ in etiology.
CIDP; diabetic neuropathy; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes
Therapeutic strategies that induce effective neuroprotection and enhance intrinsic repair mechanisms are central goals for future treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as other diseases. Laquinimod (LQ) is an orally administered, central nervous system (CNS)-active immunomodulator with demonstrated efficacy in MS clinical trials and a favorable safety and tolerability profile.
We aimed to explore the pathological, functional, and behavioral consequences of prophylactic and therapeutic (after presentation of peak clinical disease) LQ treatment in the chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of MS.
Materials and methods
Active EAE-induced 8-week-old C57BL/6 mice were treated with 5 or 25 mg/kg/day LQ via oral gavage beginning on EAE post-immunization day 0, 8, or 21. Clinical scores and rotorod motor performance were assessed throughout the disease course. Immune analysis of autoantigen-stimulated splenocytes, electrophysiological conduction of callosal axons, and immunohistochemistry of white matter-rich corpus callosum and spinal cord were performed.
Prophylactic and therapeutic treatment with LQ significantly decreased mean clinical disease scores, inhibited Th1 cytokine production, and decreased the CNS inflammatory response. LQ-induced improvement in axon myelination and integrity during EAE was functional, as evidenced by significant recovery of callosal axon conduction and axon refractoriness and pronounced improvement in rotorod motor performance. These improvements correlate with LQ-induced attenuation of EAE-induced demyelination and axon damage, and improved myelinated axon numbers.
Even when initiated at peak disease, LQ treatment has beneficial effects within the chronic EAE mouse model. In addition to its immunomodulatory effects, the positive effects of LQ treatment on oligodendrocyte numbers and myelin density are indicative of significant, functional neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects.
Our results support a potential neuroprotective, in addition to immunomodulatory, effect of LQ treatment in inhibiting ongoing MS/EAE disease progression.
Axon conduction; demyelination; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; laquinimod; multiple sclerosis; myelination; neuroprotective drug; oligodendrocytes; peripheral cytokines; rotorod motor performance; therapeutic treatment
The multiple object tracking (MOT) paradigm is a cognitive task that requires parallel tracking of several identical, moving objects following nongoal-directed, arbitrary motion trajectories.
The current study aimed to investigate the employment of prediction processes during MOT. As an indicator for the involvement of prediction processes, we targeted the human premotor cortex (PM). The PM has been repeatedly implicated to serve the internal modeling of future actions and action effects, as well as purely perceptual events, by means of predictive feedforward functions.
Materials and methods
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), BOLD activations recorded during MOT were contrasted with those recorded during the execution of a cognitive control task that used an identical stimulus display and demanded similar attentional load. A particular effort was made to identify and exclude previously found activation in the PM-adjacent frontal eye fields (FEF).
We replicated prior results, revealing occipitotemporal, parietal, and frontal areas to be engaged in MOT.
The activation in frontal areas is interpreted to originate from dorsal and ventral premotor cortices. The results are discussed in light of our assumption that MOT engages prediction processes.
We propose that our results provide first clues that MOT does not only involve visuospatial perception and attention processes, but prediction processes as well.
Action prediction; dorsal premotor cortex; fMRI; multiple object tracking; perceptual event prediction; predictive forward models; ventral premotor cortex
Diabetic neuropathy and idiopathic neuropathy are among the most prevalent neuropathies in human patients. The molecular mechanism underlying pathological changes observed in the affected nerve remains unclear but one candidate molecule, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE), has recently gained attention as a potential contributor to neuropathy. Our previous studies revealed that RAGE expression is higher in porcine and murine diabetic nerve, contributing to the inflammatory mechanisms leading to diabetic neuropathy. Here, for the first time, we focused on the expression of RAGE in human peripheral nerve.
Our study utilized de-identified human sural nerve surplus obtained from 5 non-neuropathic patients (control group), 6 patients with long-term mild-to-moderate diabetic neuropathy (diabetic group) and 5 patients with mild-to-moderate peripheral neuropathy of unknown etiology (idiopathic group). By using immunofluorescent staining and protein immunoblotting we studied the expression and colocalization patterns of RAGE and its ligands: carboxymethyllysine (CML), high mobility group box 1 (HMBG1) and mammalian Diaphanous 1 (mDia1) in control and neuropathic nerves.
We found that in a normal, healthy human nerve, RAGE is expressed in almost 30% of all nerve fibers and that number is higher in pathological states such as peripheral neuropathy. We established that the levels of RAGE and its pro-inflammatory ligands, CML and HMBG1, are higher in both idiopathic and diabetic nerve, while the expression of the RAGE cytoplasmic domain-binding partner, mDia1 is similar among control, diabetic, and idiopathic nerve. The highest number of double stained nerve fibers was noted for RAGE and CML: ∼76% (control), ∼91% (idiopathic) and ∼82% (diabetic) respectively.
Our data suggest roles for RAGE and its inflammatory ligands in human peripheral neuropathies and lay the foundation for further, more detailed and clinically oriented investigation involving these proteins and their roles in disorders of the human peripheral nerve.
Diabetes; human; peripheral neuropathy; RAGE; RAGE ligands
Blood pressure (BP) abnormalities have been known in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. The present study aimed at determining how the BPs of PD patients fluctuate in a day.
A total of 37 PD patients and 44 OD (other disease) patients, all of who were inpatients, were monitored every 30 min by 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).
The average systolic BP and the number of patients who showed postprandial hypotension were not different between the two groups. However, occurrence of nocturnal hypertension, BP fluctuation of over 100 mmHg in a day and BP of over 200 mmHg were significantly more frequently observed in the PD patients than in the OD patients. In the PD patients, these parameters were not different between those who were suffering from the disease for less than 10 years and those with the disease for 10 years or longer, as well as between those who had a Hoehn–Yahr staging scale of 2–3 and those with a scale of 4–5.
Twenty-four-hour ABPM, not BP measurement once a day, enables us to determine the actual BP in PD patients. Although hypotension is a severe risk factor for falling and syncope, we emphasize the importance of monitoring rather hypertension and fluctuating BP in PD patients that may lead to a variety of other undesirable conditions. Management of hypotension, hypertension, and BP fluctuation is an important issue in the future.
24-h ABPM; autonomic dysfunction; fluctuating blood pressure; hypertension; Parkinson's disease
The aim was to explore the thalamo-striato-cortical theory of central fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with self-reported fatigue. If the theory correctly predicted fatigue based on disruptions of the thalamo-striato-cortical network, we expected altered brain activation in this network in MS participants while performing a complex cognitive task that challenged fatigue.
MS participants with self-reported fatigue were examined by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during the performance of a complex working memory task. In this task, cognitive effort was challenged by a parametric design, which modeled the cerebral responses at increasing cognitive demands. In order to explore the theory of central fatigue in MS we also analyzed the cerebral responses by adding perceived fatigue scores as covariates in the analysis and by calculating the functional connectivity between regions in the thalamo-striatocortical network. The main findings were that MS participants elicited altered brain responses in the thalamo-striato-cortical network, and that brain activation in the left posterior parietal cortex and the right substantia nigra was positively correlated to perceived fatigue ratings. MS participants had stronger cortical-to-cortical and subcortical-to-subcortical connections, whereas they had weaker cortical-to-subcortical connections.
The findings of the present study indicate that the thalamo-striato-cortical network is involved in the pathophysiology of fatigue in MS, and provide support for the theory of central fatigue. However, due to the limited number of participants and the somewhat heterogeneous sample of MS participants, these results have to be regarded as tentative, though they might serve as a basis for future studies.
Basal ganglia; functional magnetic resonance imaging; parietal cortex; substantia nigra; working memory
Fast detection and identification of objects in an environment is important for using objects as landmarks during navigation. While adults rapidly process objects within an environment and use landmarks during navigation, infants do not routinely use distal landmarks below the age of 18 months. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study we adopted an oddball paradigm to examine whether infants are capable of processing objects in environments, which is a prerequisite for using objects as landmarks.
We measured the electrophysiological correlates and time courses related to the processing of changes in object location, object identity, and a switch of two objects.
Twelve-month-old infants showed an Nc (negative central) effect reflecting increased attention likely caused by initial change detection within 300 msec for all three manipulations. In addition, they showed conscious processing of an object change and a location change as evidenced by a positive slow wave (PSW).
This study is the first to show that infants are capable of rapidly detecting changes in single objects when these are presented in an environment, but lack conscious detection of a switch. These results indicate that 12-month-old infants as yet lack the ability to rapidly bind the identity and location of multiple objects within an environment.
ERP; infants; object processing; spatial cognition
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) (DSM-IV) three-factor posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnostic criteria was conducted to determine fit for this patient population. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) of alternate symptom structures was planned to identify symptoms that cluster in this population. The response of symptom factors to treatment with venlafaxine extended release (ER) was explored.
Baseline 17-item Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-SX17) data were pooled from patients enrolled in two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials. The CFA was conducted using maximum likelihood and weighted, least-squares factor extraction methods. The EFA was performed using a polychoric correlation covariance matrix and Pearson correlation matrix.
Data from a pooled population of 685 patients (venlafaxine ER: n = 339; placebo: n = 346) were analyzed. CFA rejected the DSM-IV three-factor structure. The EFA identified a different three-factor structure as the best fit: factor 1 included reexperiencing symptoms, factor 2 included symptoms of altered mood and cognition, whereas factor 3 comprised avoidance and arousal symptoms. All DSM-IV symptom factors and all factors in the identified three-factor model responded positively to venlafaxine ER treatment.
Data are consistent with literature failing to confirm the three-factor structure of DSM-IV PTSD, and they support the DSM-5 inclusion of a symptom cluster addressing altered mood and cognition in PTSD. The efficacy of venlafaxine ER in reducing a range of symptom clusters in PTSD is consistent with its multiple mechanisms of action.
CAPS-SX17; DSM; factor analysis; posttraumatic stress disorder; venlafaxine
The exact origin of neuronal responses in the human sensorimotor cortex subserving the generation of voluntary movements remains unclear, despite the presence of characteristic but robust waveforms in the records of electroencephalography or magnetoencephalography (MEG).
To clarify this fundamental and important problem, we analyzed MEG in more detail using a multidipole model during pulsatile extension of the index finger, and made some important new findings.
Movement-related cerebral fields (MRCFs) were confirmed over the sensorimotor region contralateral to the movement, consisting of a temporal succession of the first premovement component termed motor field, followed by two or three postmovement components termed movement evoked fields. A source analysis was applied to separately model each of these field components. Equivalent current diploes of all components of MRCFs were estimated to be located in the same precentral motor region, and did not differ with respect to their locations and orientations. The somatosensory evoked fields following median nerve stimulation were used to validate these findings through comparisons of the location and orientation of composite sources with those specified in MRCFs. The sources for the earliest components were evoked in Brodmann's area 3b located lateral to the sources of MRCFs, and those for subsequent components in area 5 and the secondary somatosensory area were located posterior to and inferior to the sources of MRCFs, respectively. Another component peaking at a comparable latency with the area 3b source was identified in the precentral motor region where all sources of MRCFs were located.
These results suggest that the MRCF waveform reflects a series of responses originating in the precentral motor area.
Diploe sources; magnetoencephalography; motor cortex; movement-related cerebral fields; somatosensory evoked fields
Introduction:The glutamate receptor, metabotropic 8 gene (GRM8) encodes a G-protein-coupled glutamate receptor and has been associated with smoking behavior and liability to alcoholism implying a role in addiction vulnerability. Data from animal studies suggest that GRM8 may be involved in the regulation of the neuropeptide Y and melanocortin pathways and might influence food intake and metabolism. This study aimed to investigate the effects of the genetic variant rs2237781 within GRM8 on human eating behavior. Methods:The initial analysis included 548 Sorbs from Germany who have been extensively phenotyped for metabolic traits and who completed the German version of the three-factor eating questionnaire. In addition, we analyzed two independent sample sets comprising 293 subjects from another German cohort and 430 Old Order Amish individuals. Genetic associations with restraint, disinhibition, and hunger were assessed in an additive linear regression model. Results:Among the Sorbs the major G allele of rs2237781 was significantly associated with increased restraint scores in eating behavior (P = 1.9 × 10−4; β = +1.936). The German cohort and the Old Order Amish population revealed a trend in the same direction for restraint (P = 0.242; β = +0.874; P = 0.908; β = +0.096; respectively). A meta-analysis resulted in a combined P = 3.1 × 10−3 (Z-score 2.948). Conclusion:Our data suggest that rs2237781 within GRM8 may influence human eating behavior factors probably via pathways involved in addictive behavior.
Addiction; alcohol intake; food intake; human eating behavior; smoking behavior
Oligodendrocyte (OL) development relies on many extracellular cues, most of which are secreted cytokines from neighboring neural cells. Although it is generally accepted that both astrocytes and microglia are beneficial for OL development, there is a lack of understanding regarding whether astrocytes and microglia play similar or distinct roles. The current study examined the effects of astrocytes and microglia on OL developmental phenotypes including cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and myelination in vitro. Our data reveal that, although both astrocytes- and microglia-conditioned medium (ACDM and MCDM, respectively) protect OL progenitor cells (OPCs) against growth factor withdrawal-induced apoptosis, ACDM is significantly more effective than MCDM in supporting long-term OL survival. In contrast, MCDM preferentially promotes OL differentiation and myelination. These differential effects of ACDM and MCDM on OL development are highlighted by distinct pattern of cytokine/growth factors in the conditioned medium, which correlates with differentially activated intracellular signaling pathways in OPCs upon exposure to the conditioned medium.
Cytokine; differentiation; glia; in vitro; proliferation
Background The integrity of subcortical brain nuclei is associated with maintenance of regular cognitive performance levels and has been shown to be particularly affected by aging-related vascular pathology. This study aims to demonstrate applicability of high field strength magnetic resonance angiography at 7 Tesla (7T) for assessment of interindividual variation in subcortical vascularization. Methods Two healthy female subjects without known history of cerebrovascular disease or malformation, aged 43 and 86 years, respectively, were administered three-dimensional (3D) high-resolution time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance angiography at 7T. The FreeSurfer software package was used for automated parcellation and assessment of subcortical volumes. For each volume, mean regional intensities were calculated based on the TOF contrast as a quantitative reflection of regional subcortical gray-matter vascularization. Results While volumes of the subcortical brain region assessed did not differ significantly (30.2 and 27.8 mL, P = 0.78), mean intensities were significantly reduced in the older participant (10%, P = 0.004). Mean intensities could be assessed for each participant for 14 subcortical structures, strongest differences were observable for the left and right Thalamus (T [left, right] = 3.85, 3.82; P [left, right] = 0.002, 0.003). Conclusions High-resolution TOF magnetic resonance angiography may be used in combination with automated volume-based parcellation to quantify regional subcortical vascularization and to assess interindividual differences. Additional studies are necessary to assess its potential use in clinical trials on cerebrovascular integrity in a context of aging-related brain change.
7 Tesla; aging; cerebrovascular integrity; high field strength; MRI
Background In previous imaging studies the insular cortex (IC) has been identified as an essential part of the processing of a wide spectrum of perception and sensorimotor integration. Yet, there are no systematic lesion studies in a sufficient number of patients examining whether processing of vestibular and the interaction of somatosensory and vestibular signals take place in the IC. Methods We investigated acute stroke patients with lesions affecting the IC in order to fill this gap. In detail, we explored signs of a vestibular tone imbalance such as the deviation of the subjective visual vertical (SVV). We applied voxel-lesion behaviour mapping analysis in 27 patients with acute unilateral stroke. Results Our data demonstrate that patients with lesions of the posterior IC have an abnormal tilt of SVV. Furthermore, re-analysing data of 20 patients from a previous study, we found a positive correlation between thermal perception contralateral to the stroke and the severity of the SVV tilt. Conclusions We conclude that the IC is a sensory brain region where different modalities might interact.
Insula; lesion; somatosensory system; stroke; vestibular
Introduction How human brains acquire second languages (L2) is one of the fundamental questions in neuroscience and language science. However, it is unclear whether the first language (L1) has a cross-linguistic influence on the processing of L2. Methods Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare brain activities during L2 word reading tasks of phonographic Japanese Kana between two groups of learners of the Japanese language as their L2 and who had different orthographic backgrounds of their L1. For Chinese learners, a L1 of the Chinese language (Hanji) and a L2 of the Japanese Kana differed orthographically, whereas for Korean learners, a L1 of Korean Hangul and a L2 of Japanese Kana were similar. Results Our analysis revealed that, although proficiency and the age of acquisition did not differ between the two groups, Chinese learners showed greater activation of the left middle frontal gyrus than Korean learners during L2 word reading. Conclusion Our results provide evidence that strongly supported the hypothesis that cross-linguistic variations in orthography between L1 and L2 induce differential brain activation during L2 word reading, which has been proposed previously.
Cross-linguistic; fMRI; orthography; second language; word reading; writing system
Background Habituation of the fear response, critical for the treatment of anxiety, is inconsistently observed during exposure to threatening stimuli. One potential explanation for this inconsistency is differential attentional engagement with negatively valenced stimuli as a function of anxiety type. Methods The present study tested this hypothesis by examining patterns of neural habituation associated with anxious arousal, characterized by panic symptoms and immediate engagement with negatively valenced stimuli, versus anxious apprehension, characterized by engagement in worry to distract from negatively valenced stimuli. Results As predicted, the two anxiety types evidenced distinct patterns of attentional engagement. Anxious arousal was associated with immediate activation in attention-related brain regions that habituated over time, whereas anxious apprehension was associated with delayed activation in attention-related brain regions that occurred only after habituation in a worry-related brain region. Conclusions Results further elucidate mechanisms involved in attention to negatively valenced stimuli and indicate that anxiety is a heterogeneous construct with regard to attention to such stimuli.
Anxiety; anxious apprehension; anxious arousal; attention; fMRI; habituation; negative valence
Introduction Understanding the relationship between brain and complex latent behavioral constructs like cognitive control will require an inordinate amount of data. Internet-based methods can rapidly and efficiently refine behavioral measures in very large samples that are needed for genetics and behavioral research. Cognitive control is a multifactorial latent construct that is considered to be an endophenotype in numerous neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While previous studies have demonstrated high correlations between Web- and lab-based scores, skepticism remains for its broad implementation. Methods Here, we promote a different approach by characterizing a completely Web-recruited and tested community family sample on measures of cognitive control. We examine the prevalence of attention deficit symptoms in an online community sample of adolescents, demonstrate familial correlations in cognitive control measures, and use construct validation techniques to validate our high-throughput assessment approach. Results A total of 1214 participants performed Web-based tests of cognitive control with over 200 parent–child pairs analyzed as part of the primary study aims. The data show a wide range of “subclinical” symptomatology in a web community sample of adolescents that supports a dimensional view of attention and also provide preliminary narrow-sense heritability estimates for commonly used working memory and response inhibition tests. Conclusions Finally, we show strong face and construct validity for these measures of cognitive control that generally exceeds the evidence required of new lab-based measures. We discuss these results and how broad implementation of this platform may allow us to uncover important brain–behavior relationships quickly and efficiently.
Cognitive control; inattention; spatial working memory; symptoms; WWW
Background Selenoprotein W (Sepw1) is a selenium-containing protein that is abundant in brain and muscle of vertebrate animals. Muscular expression of Sepw1 is reduced by dietary selenium (Se) deficiency in mammals, whereas brain expression is maintained. However, expression of Sepw1 depends on the Se transporter selenoprotein P (Sepp1). Methods We assessed the regional and cellular expression of Sepw1 in the mouse brain and neuronal cultures. Results We found that Sepw1 is widespread in neurons and neuropil of mouse brain and appears in both the soma and processes of neurons in culture. Pyramidal neurons of cortex and hippocampus express high levels of Sepw1. It is also abundant in Purkinje neurons and their dendritic arbors in the cerebellum. Analysis of synaptosome fractions prepared from mice brains indicated that Sepw1 is present at synapses, as were several proteins involved in selenoprotein synthesis. Synaptic expression of Sepw1 expression is reduced in mice lacking Sepp1 compared with control mice, although selenoprotein synthesis factors were similarly expressed in both genotypes. Lastly, Sepw1 mRNA coimmunoprecipitates with Staufen 2 protein in a human neuronal cell line. Conclusions Our results suggest that Sepw1 may be locally synthesized in distal compartments of neurons including synapses.
Selenium; selenocysteine; selenoprotein; selenoprotein P; selenoprotein W